Staying near Museum Mile on Manhattan's Upper East Side makes sense if the focus of your trip to New York is a full-on dose of some of the best art in the world at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, the Cooper-Hewitt National Museum of Design and the International Center of Photography. The Frick Collection and the Whitney Museum of American Art are just blocks away. But be warned: The Upper East Side is the most expensive neighborhood of one of the priciest cities in the world, so you'll pay for this location.
Located on fabled Madison Avenue at East 92nd Street, the Hotel Wales is within easy walking distance of the Guggeneheim and Central Park. This boutique hotel exudes an urban attitude with its minimalist nod to art deco style in guest room decor and black-and-white tile baths. Continental breakfast is on the house, while Sarabeth's serves up brunch and pastries -- and will deliver them to your room. The family-owned Paola's, located at the Hotel Wales, focuses on pasta and wine. The hotel's landscaped rooftop terrace offers the opportunity for splendid views of Central Park and a meal or cocktail alfresco.
The Franklin Hotel
At the Franklin Hotel, on East 87th Street between Lexington and Third avenues, each of its 50 rooms exudes 1930s verve with clean-lined decor and original fashion photography gracing the walls. Its location puts you equidistant from the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Guggenheim and a few blocks east of Madison Avenue shopping. Elegant touches include wine and cheese at the cocktail hour daily and complimentary breakfast buffet.
For the quintessential Upper East Side experience, there's nothing like the Carlyle. Named by "Travel & Leisure" as the best hotel in New York in 2010 and on the "Conde Nast Traveler" Gold List in 2009, it includes 188 rooms and suites and 60 apartments. Its slightly formal decor pays homage to both its roots in the art deco era and the touch of such renowned interior designers as Dorothy Draper and Thierry Despont. Located at Madison Avenue and 76th Street, the Carlyle is convenient to the Frick Collection, the Whitney Museum of American Art and Museum Mile. Even if you don't stay at the Carlyle, a visit to Cafe Carlyle and Bemelman's Bar should be on any must-do list on the Upper East Side. Cafe Carlyle gives you cabaret atmosphere against a picture-perfect Manhattan backdrop. You half expect to see George Gershwin slide onto the piano bench. If you want to rub elbows, or at least give the eye to celebs on your New York sojourn, Bemelman's Bar is a good place to find them. A draw for socialites, politicos and movie stars for decades, a visit will dig deep into your pocket but, well, it's priceless.
The Surrey Hotel
The Surrey, once a residential hotel, has been refurbished to reflect its original Upper East Side ambiance and is based on a New York City townhouse. The hotel includes guest rooms, which it calls salons, and suites with living areas. All have marble baths and are decorated in an eclectic style. The hotel's Cafe Boulud serves French cuisine to significant praise: It gets a star in the Michelin Guide. The Surrey is between Madison and Fifth avenues on East 76th Street, within short walking distance of the Frick Collection, the Metropolitan Museum of Art and Central Park.
- guggenheim museum new york close up image by laurent dambies from Fotolia.com